Ho-Pin Tung and Lola celebrated wrapping up the German Recaro Formula 3 Cup over the weekend after another dominant performance from the B06/30 chassis.
The Huntingdon built chassis took its 13th win from 18 races at the Salzburgring in Austria over the weekend with JB Motorsport’s Ho Pin Tung sealing the title in race 2, after newcomer Nathan Antunes had bagged a debut victory for the HS Technik team the previous day.
For Pin Tung it was the culmination of a hard fought year in which the Chinese/Dutch racer has had to contend with the pace of fellow Lola racers, Ferdinand Kool and Joey Foster. After Foster was injured at the Lausitzring in July, Pin Tung has been fighting against Kool, but after a clinching a win and a 2nd place finish in Austria, the 23 year old took the title and now has his sights set on either a GP2 or a Champ Car drive for next season.
Starting in 6th place on the grid for the all-important 2nd event, held on Sunday, Pin Tung got a superb start to claim 4th place at the first corner. From there he coolly overtook his JB team mate, Kool, before despatching Van Der Zande and Schlegelmilch. But his fight to the front wasn’t easy, as he explained after the race.
“First it was a little bit difficult to pass Ferdinand, because he has the same car like me, but to overtake Renger Van Der Zande (Dallara) was easy,” said Pin Tung. “With Harald (Schlegelmilch) I had a hard fight. In the last lap I tried it and we touched, but I've done it and I am totally happy to be champion already here."
Ferdinand Kool took 3rd place in race 2, which went some way to compensating him for being penalised in the first race for overtaking under yellow flags. This cost the Dutchman a possible podium position and he was eventually classified in 18th place.
New to the winners circle at Salzburgring was Australian racer Nathan Antunes in the HS Technik Lola. The 18 year old from Sydney showed why he is so highly rated by taking a brilliant first win, despite starting from 7th on the grid after being unable to find a clear lap in qualifying.
Antunes cut through the pack in the early stages of the race and made the most of his well balanced Lola. It was a popular victory for the German domiciled Australian who is mentored by former Lotus F1 team boss Peter Collins.
"This was a very important win not just for me but also for the team and for all those who have worked tirelessly to make this possible,” said a grateful Antunes after the race.
Race 2 was not so kind to Antunes, as after starting from pole position he was forced to retire from the event. Still, he took some solace from setting the second fastest lap of the race and coming away from the weekend with a further enhanced reputation as one of Australia’s brightest single seater prospects for the future.
Apart from winning all bar 5 of the 18 races in the this years series, the Lola B06/30 chassis has also claimed 11 pole positions and 9 fastest laps in its first ever year in the series. For 2007, Lola will be further developing the successful package to ensure more success for its current and future customers in global F3 competition.
The final two races of the 2006 season take place at Oschersleben on September 30 and October 1.
RACE ONE RESULTS
1. Nathan Antunes (AUS) HS Technik LolaB06/30 Spiess 25m39.185s
2. Ho-Pin Tung (PRC/NL) JB Motorsport Lola-Spiess 25m41.631s
3. Renger Van Der Zande (NL) SMS Dallara-Mercedes 25m41.895s
4. Riccardo Azzoli (I) Target Racing SLC-Spiess 25m49.039s
5. Johnny Ceccoto (YV) Target Racing SLC-Spiess 25m49.431s
6. Johannes Theobold (D) SMS Dallara-Mercedes 25m50.796s
7. Nicolas Hulkenburg (D) JK Racing Ligier-Spiess 25m51.152s
8. Recardo Bruins (KOR) Van Amersfort Dallara-Spiess 25m51.405s
9. Ronny Wechselberger (D) Prinz Dallara-Spiess 25m52.096s
10. Mattia Pavoni (I) Ombra Racing Dallara-Mugen Honda 25m54.561s
Fastest Lap: Harald Schlegelmilch HS Technik Dallara-Spiess 1m19.360s
RACE TWO RESULTS
1. Ho-Pin Tung (PRC/NL) JB Motorsport Lola-Spiess 25m27.969s
2. Renger Van Der Zande (NL) SMS Dallara-Mercedes 25m28.281s
3. Ferdinand Kool (NL) JB Motorsport Lola-Spiess 25m29.067s
4. Harald Schlegelmilch (LAT) HS Technik Dallara-Spiess 25m29.679s
5. Cyndie Alleman (CH) SMS Seyffarth Dallara-Mercedes 25m29.868s
6. Recardo Bruins (KOR) Van Amersfort Dallara-Spiess 25m29.898s
7. Johannes Theobold (D) SMS Dallara-Spiess Mercedes 25m30.262s
8. Ronny Wechselberger (D) Prinz Dallara-Spiess 25m30.444s
9. Riccardo Azzoli (I) Target Racing SLC-Spiess 25m30.956s
10. Dominick Muermans (NL) Van Amersfort Dallara-Spiess 25m31.253s
Fastest Lap: Nico Hulkenberg (D) JK Ligier-Spiess 1m18.904s
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